A conversation between Andy Harper from Graff.io Arts and Mark Charlton from his Brighton studio in November 2018.
The Brighton scene
What’s the Brighton scene like these days?
An optimistic vision of space travel told from the 1950’s.
How did you get into what you’re doing & find your “thing”
A constant weathering process
What sort of scale are you working at?
My pieces range in size from about 15x15cm to larger work of around 150x110cm. I think I would probably like in the future to go much larger.
There’s no real secret, I try to make each piece as flat as possible which involves a constant weathering process but by doing this it helps with the final finish of the piece. I use a couple of different varnishes to finish, which are applied over about 4 very thin layers
If your Graphic series was music I’d say it’s ‘Boards of Canada’. Do you use music to inspire you / do you find it impacts where you take your practice?
I have such a broad spectrum of music genres I enjoy that it is hard to say that a specific band or style directly influences the work, but I guess music does impact the energy and flow of what I’m making as is very dependent on my mood.
A combination of science fiction and science fact.
I interpret your work as a Sci-Fi inspired take on the future, but written in the past. Is that along the right lines or is there another dialogue here?
I think my work is a combination of science fiction and science fact. Although I am a big fan, my work is rarely influenced by Sci-Fi directly. It is more a reflection of the design aesthetics of the mid century and a factual knowledge of the solar system and also a concentration on the process. My latest work is if anything about personal contemplation which can reflect the past and the future.
With exponential growth of tech that we are seeing in our lifetime, where do you see art heading in the future?
I think art will become increasingly more interactive with VR and whole areas that are immersive and sensory with visual and audio content that changes to reflect mood.
I personally cannot think of time that all physical work will be replaced. I have a constant urge to make physical pieces. The process is wholly important to nature and energy of how something is made and the enjoyment of learning how to make something out of different materials and touching is essential to the uniqueness of art.
Tell me about the collab with Graff.io Arts?
I have been very lucky to have been approached by Graff.io Arts and take it as a massive compliment that my art work is represented on a great contemporary platform.
Any other projs on the horizon?
I’m hoping to spend more time developing my ideas in to truly conceptual body’s of work that would also allow me to go back to my animation roots a little.
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